I have been working with the National Crittenton Foundation for five years. I have partnered with many national non profit organizations over the years and I can truly say this is one of the most thoughtful, impactful, and genuine voices for children and youth that I've ever had the honor of knowing. The most impressive thing about Crittenton is how they listen to the voices of girls and young women to inform their advocacy. They truly have the needs, experiences, challenges, and successes of the individual girls front and center in their work.
The collective voice of the local Crittenton agencies is making a difference in ensuring that girls and young women who are victims of abuse, neglect and sexual violence get the right help at the right place at the right time. They have changed the way I look at the world for the better and given me new hope about the incredible strength and resilience of survivors.
I am honored to be affiliated with this amazing organization! As a former resident of Florence Crittenton Maternity Home- Charlotte, I have been able to use my voice to speak on my experiences as a young teen releasing my child for adoption, my experiences in the foster care system, and now, as a single mom to three boys. I am incredibly grateful the National Crittenton Foundation provides women like me the opportunity and platform to speak up and be heard!
For 130 years, Florence Crittenton organizations in the United States have assisted milions young women and their families become more independent, fulfilled and productive members of our communitities. For most of decades of its existence the organization has maintained a profile out of the limelight in its helping role but in the last few years, a concerted effort has been made to not only advocate for the needs of marginalized young women but to the aide them in advocating for themselves. The young women are activley taking the initiative to give legislators and the community at large a greater undertanding of their strengths and the trememdous potential they possess. Significant efforts are being made to break the cycles of poverty, ineffective parenting, abuse and neglect that majority of these young women have faced.
As a former client and now Board Member, I have seen the Crittenton agencies & The National Crittenton Foundation from many perspectives. Once a client, I will always appreciate that there was a place for my son & me to live while trying to bridge the gap between a difficult family environment and the independence I knew I was capable of achieving. As a Board Member for National Crittenton, we continue to support our family of agencies & be the national voice of so many young women trying to break the cycle of negative family patterns.
When I count my blessings, Crittenton is at the top of them. Crittenton has enriched my life on so many levels over the past 20 years. At 16, along with my my two-year old son, I moved into the Southern California-based Crittenton home. My stay at Crittenton served as a pivotal point of change for the better in my life & the life of my son. Growing up in a household filled with constant fighting, verbal & physical abuse, I had visions of a different life for us. Thankfully, there was a place for both my child & I to stay during a time of many transitions. Thanks to the program structure & caring staff members, I was able to save enough money to move into my own apartment at the young age of 18. The feeling of being able to provide for myself & son was so empowering! I went on to earn a bachelor's degree from CSU, Fullerton. I am forever grateful for the concrete foundation Crittenton offered for me to be successful in life. Now, I am a member of the Board of Trustees for The National Crittenton Foundation. They have opened up so many doors for me to give back & help empower other young women. The staff members at The National Crittenton Foundation are top-notch & committed to making a difference for young women everywhere.
As a volunteer at Florence Crittenton-Wheeling, WV, I began a birthday party social once a month to celebrate the girls and children born in that month. This September marks our second year and we have celebrated hundreds of teenagers and toddlers. What sparked my interest was a comment made by one of the residents. She stated it was her birthday and she never felt that any one cared that she was even born. I wanted to change that. She is so important...her life does matter...she is special...and God has a plan for her future no matter what her past was like. I look forward to each birthday and take cake, ice cream, pop and gifts. I am glad to be a part of the Florence Crittenton Volunteers!
Becoming a volunteer at Crittenton stated by me saying I wanted to rock babies since I retired. This person in turn got a job there as a nurse, called her Mom and told me they needed volunteers. A couple of phone calls later I was there filling out papers. If you go on a regular basis you become attached to the babies probably more that the girls. I know some really appreciate it more than others and that is ok. The staff is always very appreciative. I guess I just hope that some of the mom's will realize that there are people, perfect strangers even, that want to help them. Not point fingers just pure help. The babies are so helpless and I hope that since they are at Crittenton that will give them a better future and hope. I hope I have made a difference for someone.
The National Florence Crittenton Foundation has provided outstanding guidance and support to our agency and to the young women we serve who are pregnant and parenting teen mothers. They send us the latest updates on best practices in the field, listen to the voices of our young women so as to better understand needs and challenges; and provide leadership training to young women. I am extremely impressed with their leadership and advocacy on behalf of all young women in this country. They are truly making a difference !!
I've seen tremendous growth and scalability of The National Crittenton Foundation's impact over the past three and a half years that I've been on the board. I've met with girls and women who have benefitted from programs and funding generated by the Foundation, including advocacy on Capitol Hill, social media campaigns, initiatives to measure the impact of services delivered, and more. I'm looking forward to giving more of my time in the future to help The National Crittenton Foundation ensure that all girls, young women and their families live safely in a just world in which they can visualize and achieve their unique potential as healthy, contributing members of society.
Initially I was a Board member of the Southern California Crittenton Agency in Fullerton, California from 1991-1996. I then joined The National Crittenton Foundation in 2001 and I am presently the Treasurer. I have also rejoined the Fullerton Agency Board in 2009. In this time I have had the priviledge of visiting 14 of the 27 Agencies. What keeps me coming back is the change in the look in the young ladies eyes. When they first arrive they are scared and in survivor mode. After a time the look becomes trusting and full of hope. Not only do they gain self esteem, many continue their education into college, and they become valuable members of our society.
I have been volunteering at Florence Crittenton for 6 months. It has been a priveledge to get to be part of what they are doing there. Getting to know the girls and help them prepare to care for their children has been a gift. The staff has been so wonderful in helping me get involved. They've even taken care of my children so that I could sit in on volunteer meetings! I can't begin to say what a worthy and wonderful organization this is.